PINKNOISE Get Funky on Debut Album ‘Dance of the Diaspora’
Kolkata experimental rockers dish out recipes and stories for late nights
Self-styled as the late night avatar of established Kolkata rock group Skinny Alley, there’s certainly a lot of brooding and ominous synth work on PINKNOISE’s debut album Dance of the Diaspora.
Right from the jumpy opener “Dollar $cience” it’s evident that the band – vocalist Jayashree Singh, her drummer son Jiver and avant garde guitarist Amyt Datta – are crazy enough to put together a story of the Indian diaspora in the U.S. The album, which was recorded when bassist Gyan Singh was alive, is funky in the real sense of the word, right from Jayashree’s poetry about the identity crisis faced by a fly [“Origami”] to Jiver’s layered drumming and synth work.
From the dancers [“Temple Dancer”] to the hairdressers [“Mistress of the Coiffeur”] and the spoiled kids [“Bumblebee”] set to Jiver’s funky beats, stand out grooves from Datta and Singh. Jayashree goes off the rails every now and then, switching between cooing and whispering lines in Tamil about animals and recipes. But the vocalist traverses most moods on “Old Bad New Good,” vocalizing like a child, Carnatic vocalist and a woman possessed about consumerism. For all the hard-to-pin-down movements and progressions in their songs, they choose to build a linear, steady sound on “Snowfields,” about a man’s determination to reach the mountains, with Jayshree’s cinematic vocals shining through. Datta has his turn with a jazz solo over a terrifying synth sample on “Palootam.”
Gyan Singh, holding it all together with what is his last work before he passed away in 2012, will certainly be proud of the twisted outcome that is Dance of the Diaspora, rich in narratives and fresh sounds.
Key tracks: “Bumblebee,” “Old Bad New Good,” “Dollar $cience”
Listen to Dance of the Diaspora over at NH7’s Audiolizer page.